As we head into Week 6, there are NFL storylines both on and off the field. The Commissioner affirmed the bounty suspensions of the four players ; Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove. The announcement really came as no big surprise, but caught the full attention of the NFLPA (Players Association) that gave an all hands on deck alarm, and is coming to the aid of their players in full support. The players had a 72 hour deadline to file an appeal and they did just that. Will the buck stop with the Commissioners desk or will the Federal Courts get involved with the process?

There has been a lot of unexpected team performances and those that normally win big early have found themselves at the middle of their division or at the bottom looking up. The Pittsburgh Steelers are under 500 for the first time after playing five games under coach Mike Tomlin. The Green Bay Packers’ and several other teams that generally are the cream of the NFL, are fighting mediocrity and frustration is starting to set in, while others look like a championship team, example the Houston Texans (5-0). For whatever reason the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings are teams that have found their way to 4-1 records and are leading their divisions, due mainly on the strength of their defense. The Baltimore Ravens ,like every year, are in the battle for the divisional crown with a 4-1 record. The Atlanta Falcons are 5-0 and this team is playing smart football with productive offense and hard hitting defense.

Every year the NFL takes on a different shape, there are teams developing young ascending players, and while the playoffs are several weeks away, the overall landscape of post season play is starting to take shape with all teams still in the hunt with the exception of the following teams that have dug themselves a huge hole and will struggle to climb out of it; Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas Chiefs are all 1-4, and the Cleveland Browns are the only winless team in the NFL.

Softli’s week 6 picks;

Rams @ Miami = Rams

Pittsburgh @ Tennessee = Steelers

Kansas City @ Tampa Bay = Buccaneers

Indianapolis @ NYJ = Jets

Cincinnati @ Cleveland = Bengals

Oakland @ Atlanta = Falcons

Dallas @ Baltimore = Ravens

Detroit @ Philadelphia = Eagles

New England @ Seattle = Patriots

Minnesota @ Washington = Vikings

Buffalo @ Arizona = Cardinals

NYG @ San Francisco = 49ers

Green Bay @ Houston = Texans

Denver @ San Diego = Chargers

Remember, I’m not a professional odds maker. Please, please don’t bet the farm or mortgage the house on the above information even though I’m 49-29 after Week 5 on picking games straight-up. I concentrate on NFL team rankings both offensively and defensively, injuries, statistics, schemes, 53 man roster personnel and I evaluate a lot of film.